How to give your candid photos a documentary look
01 Open in Raw
Open masterclass_edit_2.dng in Adobe Camera Raw. To recover the blown highlights on the firefighter’s helmet set the Highlights slider to -53, and to mute the colours set the Saturation slider to -30. Set the Clarity slider to +12 to bring out some of the detail in the scene. Click Open Image to open the image in Elements’ Expert/Full Edit mode.
02 Blend a mono image
Press Ctrl+J to duplicate the ‘Background’ layer, then go to Enhance > Convert to Black and White. Choose a preset effect from the list and fine-tune with the sliders, then click OK to apply the effect. Set the mono layer’s blending mode to Overlay and reduce the Opacity to 50%.
To fine-tune the exposure and contrast add a Levels adjustment layer, and set the Highlights slider to 2.44 and the Midtones slider to 1.18. To enhance the gritty feel, add a vignette effect to darken the corners of the image. Press Ctrl+Alt+Shift+E to create a merged layer, then go to Filter > Correct Camera Distortion and adjust the Vignette Amount and Midpoint sliders to suit.
PAGE 1 – Set up your camera for informal, candid photography
PAGE 2 – How to compose your candid photography
PAGE 3 – How to edit your candid photography: steps 1-6
PAGE 4 – How to edit your candid photography: steps 7-12
PAGE 5 – How to give your candid photos a documentary look
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